Google to invest in ride-hailing start-up Go-Jek

Updated 2018-01-30 10:53:01

Google has made its first ride-hailing investment in Asia by putting money into Go-Jek, as the Indonesian start-up and its rivals rapidly expand their app-based services and digital payments in Southeast Asia.

The funding deepens Google's commitment to Indonesia's internet economy, Caesar Sengupta, a vice president at Google, said in a company blog on Monday.

The announcement by Google comes two weeks after sources said that Google and Singapore state investor Temasek were among those investing in Go-Jek as part of a .2 billion fundraising round.

Rivals Grab and Uber are backed by Japan's SoftBank Group, while Go-Jek has secured investments from Chinese technology giants Tencent Holdings and JD.com Inc.

Google's blog didn't specify how much Google will invest but two sources said the amount would be about 0 million.

Ride-hailing providers are investing tens of millions of dollars to expand their digital payment systems and seeking to allow their users to pay for third-party services.

With more than 133 million people online, Indonesia is home to the fifth-largest population of internet users in the world but half of the country's population has yet to connect to the internet, Sengupta said.

Both Grab and Uber are expanding in Go-Jek's home market, which is Southeast Asia's most populous country and where locals welcome mobile-based services.

Southeast Asia is the world's third-biggest ride-hailing market after China and the U.S.

The company, which began as a ride-hailing app for motorcycle taxis, was set up by Nadiem Makarim, a graduate of the Harvard School of Business and a former associate with consultancy McKinsey, who has quickly become a poster child for start-up success in Indonesia.

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